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Discipling the Next Generation

15. November 2017

Features, Theme Articles,

  —David Pulliam

How do you disciple a generation that is very different from all previous generations? I am referring mainly to those who are 20-somethings, though much of what I say can apply to those who are in their teens.

Two Do Nots

First, do not be like Saul. The story of David and Goliath is a familiar story. David approaches the Israelite camp with supplies for his brothers. He hears the insults of the “uncircumcised Philistine” and decides to fight the warrior himself. Word gets to King Saul, who summons David and tries to discourage him from this suicidal notion. David pushes back. He points out that God has given him victory in the past. Saul relents but wants it on his own terms. The writer of 1 Samuel says: “Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go.…”

Saul gave David his personal armor, but it didn’t fit. The armor worked great for Saul but was a hindrance to David. Likewise, do not take what has worked for the previous generation and, without thought, expect the next generation to use it. Certainly, this example in the story of David does not exegetically dictate this principle, but it provides a picture of what sometimes happens in discipling the next generation.

A modern-­day example would be my father’s advocacy of memory verses. You can ...

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